July 9, 1945 – Gordon Walker Report From Okinawa for Mutual via Shortwave – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –
July 9, 1945 – Although the Battle Of Okinawa was considered over in June, pockets of resistance continued for many months, even after the war was officially declared over. This report, delivered on July 9th by Christian Science Monitor reporter Gordon Walker for Mutual, tells of doing a broadcast the night before from a remote site on the island. In the middle of the report, the site came under attack by Japanese troops and how the attack was resisted, but was common during this seemingly endless campaign on Okinawa.
A little background on this period, as provided by Seth Paridon of the National WW2 Museum in New Orleans
“The Japanese were holed up in caves that were incredibly difficult to reach. The caves that could be approached, which were few, were often sealed shut with explosives after the attacking Marines suffered severe casualties. However, the majority of the caves in the Wana complex were inaccessible except to the Japanese, and that was by tunnel at night. Improvising as they usually did when fighting entrenched Japanese, the men of the 1st Marines tried a different method to dislodge their stubborn enemy. Being on the reverse slopes of the ridge line and draw, the Japanese seemed impervious to fire from Marine weapons, but were not impervious to fuel. Grunts from the 1st Marines manhandled barrels of napalm to the top of the ridge line and draw, bashed the tops open with rifle butts and axes, and rolled the open containers down the draw. The barrels inevitably found their way into or near a Japanese cave, and when they did, they were ignited by the Marines above with white phosphorous grenades. Still, despite the new demolition methods, the Japanese held their positions, giving ground literally an inch at a time while inflicting terrible casualties on the “Old Breed.” From May 11-30 in the fight in and around Wana Ridge and Wana Draw, the 1st Marine Division would lose some 200 Marines for every 100 yards of enemy territory captured.”
Here is that report from Gordon Walker, as broadcast to Mutual on July 9, 1945.